Stevens, M. 2021. Life in Colour. BBC Books / Penguin Random House.

Stevens, M. 2021. Secret Worlds: The Extraordinary Senses of Animals. Oxford University Press.

Stevens, M. 2016. Cheats and Deceits: How Animals and Plants Exploit and Mislead. Oxford University Press.

Stevens, M. 2013. Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution. Oxford University Press.

Stevens, M. & Merilaita, S. (Editors). 2011. Animal Camouflage: Mechanisms and Function. Cambridge University Press.

Full Journal Publications

2021 and in press

Troscianko, T., Nokelainen, O., Skelhorn, J. & Stevens, M. 2021. Variable crab camouflage patterns defeat search image formation. Communications Biology. 4:287.

Niu, Y. Stevens, M. & Sun, H. 2021. Commercial harvesting has driven the evolution of camouflage in an Alpine plant. Current Biology. 31: 446-449.

Duarte, R. C., Dias, G. M., Flores, A. A. V. Stevens, M. 2021. Different ontogenetic trajectories of body colour, pattern, and crypsis in two sympatric intertidal crab species. Biol J Linn Soc. 132: 17–31.


Stephenson, J. F., Stevens, M., Troscianko, J. & Jokela, J. 2020. The size, symmetry, and color saturation of a male guppy’s ornaments forecast his resistance to parasites. American Naturalist. 196:597-608.

Spaniol, R. L., Mendonça, M. d. S., Hartz, S. M., Iserhard, C. A. & Stevens, M. 2020. Discolouring the Amazon Rainforest: how deforestation is affecting butterfly coloration. Biodiversity and Conservation. 29: 2821–2838.

Galloway, J. A. M., Green, S. D., Stevens, M. & Kelley, L. A. 2020. Finding a signal hidden among noise: how can predators overcome camouflage strategies? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B. 375: 20190478.

Carter, E. E., Tregenza, T. & Stevens, M. 2020. Ship noise inhibits colour change, camouflage, and anti-predator behaviour in shore crabs. Current Biology. 30:R211-R212.

Paul, S. C. & Stevens, M. 2020. Horse vision and obstacle visibility in horseracing. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 222: 104882.


Green, S. D., Duarte, R. C., Kellett, E., Alagaratnam, N. & Stevens, M. 2019. Colour change and behavioural choice facilitate chameleon prawn camouflage against different seaweed backgrounds. Communications Biology. 2: 230.

Price, N., Green, S., Troscianko, J., Tregenza, T. & Stevens, M. 2019. Background matching and disruptive coloration as habitat-specific strategies for camouflage. Scientific Reports. 9: 7840.

Hughes, A., Liggins, E. & Stevens, M. 2019. Imperfect camouflage: how to hide in a variable world? Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 286, 20190646.

Stevens, M. In press. Book Review: The Sensory Ecology of Birds, by Graham R. Martin (2017, Oxford University Press, Oxford). Quarterly Review of Biology.

Stoddard, M. C., Hogan, B. G., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C. N. 2019 Higher-level pattern features provide additional information to birds when recognizing and rejecting parasitic eggs. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B. 374: 20180197.

Narasimha, S., Nagornov, K. O., Menin, L., Mucciolo, A., Rohwedder, A., Humbel, B. M., Stevens, M., Thum, A. S., Tsybin, Y. O. & Vijendravarma, R. K. 2019. Drosophila melanogaster cloak their eggs with pheromones, which prevents cannibalism. PLoS Biology. 17: e2006012.

Nokelainen, O, Maynes, R, Mynott, S, Price, N. & Stevens, M. 2019. Improved camouflage through ontogenetic colour change confers reduced detection risk in shore crabs. Functional Ecology. 33: 654-669.

Chan, I. Z. W., Stevens, M. & Todd, P. A. 2019. PAT-GEOM: A Software Package for the Analysis of Animal Patterns. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 10: 591-600.

Briolat, E., Zagrobelny, M., Olsen, C. E., Blount, J. D. & Stevens, M. 2019. No evidence of quantitative signal honesty across species of aposematic burnet moths (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 32:31–48.

Stevens, M.& Ruxton, G. D. 2019. The key role of behaviour in animal camouflage. Biological Reviews. 94: 116-134.


Dell’Aglio, D. D., Troscianko J., McMillan, W. O., Stevens, M. & Jiggins, C. D. 2018. The appearance of mimetic Heliconius butterflies to predators and conspecifics. Evolution. 72: 2156-2166.

Duarte, R. C., Stevens, M. & Flores, A. A. V. 2018. The adaptive value of camouflage and colour change in a polymorphic prawn. Scientific Reports. 8: 16028.

Ligon, R. A., Diaz, C. D., Morano, J. L., Troscianko, J., Stevens, M., Moskeland, A., Laman, T. G. & Scholes, E. 2018. Evolution of correlated complexity in the radically different courtship signals of birds-of-paradise. PLoS Biology. 16: e2006962.

Troscianko, J., Skelhorn, J. & Stevens, M. 2018. Camouflage strategies interfere differently with observer search images. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 285: 20181386.

Walton, O. C. & Stevens, M. 2018. Avian vision models and field experiments determine the survival value of peppered moth camouflage. Communications Biology. 1: 118.

Covered by: Sky News, Daily Mail, ITV, BT News, and many more regional and international (August 2018).

Smithers, S. P., Wilson, A. & Stevens, M. 2018. Rock pool fish use a combination of colour change and substrate choice to improve camouflage. Animal Behaviour. 144: 53-65.

Gómez, J., Ramo, C., Troscianko, J., Stevens, M., Castro, M., Pérez-Hurtado, A., Liñán-Cembrano, G. & Amat, J. A. 2018. Individual egg camouflage is influenced by microhabitat selection and use of nest materials in ground-nesting birds. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 72: 142.

Niu, Y., Sun, H. & Stevens, M.2018. Plant camouflage: ecology, evolution, and implications. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 33: 608-618.

Briolat, E. S., Zagrobelny, M., Olsen, C. E., Blount J. D. & Stevens, M.2018. Sex differences but no evidence of quantitative honesty in the warning signals of six-spot burnet moths (Zygaena filipendulae L.). Evolution. 72-7: 1460–1474.

Covered by: Daily Mail, ITV, BT News, and many more (June 2018).

Gómez, J., Ramo, C., Stevens, M., Liñán-Cembrano, G., Rendón, M. A., Troscianko, J. & Amat, J. A. 2018. Latitudinal variation in biophysical characteristics of avian eggshells to cope with differential effects of solar radiation. Ecology and Evolution. 8:8019–8029

Paul, S. C., Stevens, M., Pell, J. K., Burkett, M. A. & Blount J. D. 2018. Parental phenotype not predator cues influence egg warning coloration and defence levels. Animal Behaviour. 140, 177-186.

Paul, S. C., Stevens, M., Burton, J., Pell, J. K., Birkett, M. A. & Blount, J. D. 2018. Invasive egg predators and food availability interactively affect maternal investment in egg chemical defence. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 6: 4.

Badás, E. P., Martínez, J., Rivero-de Aguilar, J., Ponce, C., Stevens, M. & Merino, S. 2018. Colour change in a structural ornament is related to individual quality, parasites and mating patterns in the blue tit. The Science of Nature (Naturwissenschaften). 105: 17

Nokelainen, O., Stevens, M. & Caro, T. 2018. Colour polymorphism in the coconut crab (Birgus latro). Evolutionary Ecology. 32: 75–88.


Niu, Y., Chen, Z., Stevens, M. & Sun, H. 2017. Divergence in cryptic leaf colour provides local camouflage in an alpine plant. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 284: 20171654.

Nokelainen, O., Hubbard, N., Lown, A. E., Wood, L. E. & Stevens, M. 2017. Through predators’ eyes – phenotype-environment associations in shore crab coloration at different spatial scales. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 122: 738–751.

Stevens, M., Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J. & Spottiswoode, C. N. 2017. Improvement of individual camouflage through background choice in ground-nesting birds. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 1: 1325–1333.

Covered by: Daily Mail, Telegraph, International Business Times, Science Daily (31 July 2017), Audubon (24 August 2017), BBC Wildlife Magazine (September 2017).

Cuthill, I.C., Allen, W., Arbuckle, K., Caspars, B., Chaplin, G., Hauber, M., Hill, G., Jablonski, N., Jiggins, C., Kelber, A., Mappes, J., Marshall, J., Merrill, R., Osorio, D., Prum, R., Roberts, N., Roulin, A., Rowland, H., Sherratt, T., Skelhorn, J., Speed, M., Stevens, M., Stoddard, M., Stuart-Fox, M., Talas, L., Tibbetts, E. & Tim Caro. 2017. The biology of color. Science. 357: eaan0221

Duarte, R. C., Flores, A. A. V. & Stevens, M. 2017. Camouflage through colour change: mechanisms, adaptive value, and ecological significance. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B.  372: 20160342.

Caves, E.M., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2017. Does coevolution with parasites drive multiple hosts to partition their defences among species? Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 284: 20170272.

Covered by: The Economist (18 May 2017).

Arenas, L. M. & Stevens, M. 2017. Diversity in warning coloration is easily recognised by avian predators. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 30: 1288–1302.

Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Jovani, R. &  Stevens, M. 2017. Shape matters: animal colour patterns as signals of individual quality. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 284: 20162446.

Tuuli-Marjaana, K., Lindstedt, C., Klemola, T., Troscianko, J., Mäntylä, E., Tyystjärvi, E., Stevens, M., Helander, M. & Laaksonen, T. 2017. Insect herbivory may cause changes in the visual properties of leaves and affect the camouflage of herbivores to avian predators. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 71: 97.

Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Griffiths, D., Spottiswoode, C. N., Stevens, M. 2017. Relative advantages of dichromatic and trichromatic color vision in camouflage breaking. Behavioral Ecology. 28: 556-564.

Covered by: Science Daily (13 April 2017), Reuters, Daily Mail (13 February 2017).

Smithers, S. P., Wilson, A. & Stevens, M. 2017. Rock pool gobies change their body pattern in response to background features. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 121: 109-121.

Geltsch, N., Moskat, C., Elek, Z., Ban, M., Stevens, M. 2017. Egg spotting pattern in the common cuckoo and its great reed warbler host: a century perspective. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 121: 50-62.

Badás, E. P., Martínez, J., Rivero-de Aguilar, J., Stevens, M., van der Velde, M., Komdeur, J. & Merino, S. 2017. Eggshell pigmentation in the blue tit: male quality matters. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 71: 57.

Troscianko, J., Skelhorn, J. & Stevens, M. 2017. Quantifying camouflage: how to predict detectability from appearance. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 17: 7.


Duarte, R. C., Stevens, M. & Flores, A. A. V. 2016. Shape, colour plasticity, and habitat use indicate morph-specific camouflage strategies in a marine shrimp. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 16: 218.

Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Spottiswoode, C. N. & Stevens, M. 2016. Nest covering in plovers: How modifying the visual environment influences egg camouflage. Ecology and Evolution. 6: 7536-7545.

Caro, T., Sherratt, T. N. & Stevens, M. 2016. The ecology of multiple colour defences. Evolutionary Ecology. 30: 797-809.

Nokelainen, O. & Stevens, M. 2016. Camouflage. Current Biology. 26: R654–R656.

Dell’Aglio, D. D., Stevens, M. & Jiggins, C. D. 2016. Avoidance of an aposematically coloured butterfly by wild birds in a tropical forest. Ecological Entomology. 41: 627-632.

Stevens, M. 2016. Color change, phenotypic plasticity, and camouflage. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 4: 51.

Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Troscianko, J., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C. N. 2016. Escape distance in ground-nesting birds differs with individual level of camouflage. American Naturalist. 188: 231-239.

Chan, I. Z. W., Stevens, M. & Todd, P. A. 2016. Quantifying shell pattern and colour polymorphism in the button snail Umbonium vestiarium (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Trochacea) and comparing morph frequencies between two populations using the Mantel test. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 32: 22-32.

Stevens, M. 2016. When to attack defended prey? A comment on Skelhorn et al. Behavioral Ecology. 27: 966.

Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C. N. 2016. Camouflage predicts survival in ground-nesting birds. Scientific Reports. 6: 19966

Covered by: BBC Wildlife Magazine, Daily Mail, Science Daily (all 29 January 2016).

Marshall, K. L. A., Philpot, K. E. & Stevens, M. 2016. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators. Scientific Reports. 6: 19815.

Covered by: Discover Magazine, IFL Science (29 January 2016), Scientific American (10 February 2016).

Medina, I., Troscianko, J., Stevens, M. & Langmore, N. 2016. Brood parasitism is linked to egg pattern diversity within and among species of Australian passerines. American Naturalist. 187: 351-362.


Troscianko, J. & Stevens, M. 2015. Image calibration and analysis toolbox – a free software suite for objectively measuring reflectance, colour and pattern. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 6: 1320–1331.

Covered by: BBC Cornwall (11 August 2015), Daily Mail (6 August 2015), the Independent, the Washington Post (7 August 2015), IFL Science (8 August 2015).

Stevens, M., Broderick, A. C., Godley,B. J., Lown, A. E., Troscianko, J., Weber, N. & Weber, S. B. 2015. Phenotype-environment matching in sand fleas. Biology Letters. 11: 20150494.

Covered by: Science Daily (12 August 2015). 

Marshall, K. L. A., Philpot, K. E., Damas-Moreira, I. & Stevens, M. 2015. Intraspecific colour variation among lizards in distinct island environments enhances local camouflage. PLoS ONE. 10: e0135241.

Stevens, M. 2015. Evolutionary ecology: mothers that change their egg colours. Current Biology. 25: R753-R773.

Marshall, K. L. A., Philpot, K. E., & Stevens, M. 2015. Conspicuous male coloration impairs survival against avian predators in Aegean wall lizards, Podarcis erhardii. Ecology and Evolution. 5: 4115–4131.

Stevens, M. 2015. Anti-predator coloration and behaviour: a longstanding topic with many outstanding questions. Current Zoology. 61: 703-707.

Flores, E. E., Stevens, M., Moore, A. J., Rowland, H. M. & Blount, J. D. 2015. Body size but not warning signal luminance influences predation risk in recently metamorphosed poison frogs. Ecology and Evolution. 5: 4603–4616.

Hughes, A. E., Magor-Elliott, R. S. & Stevens, M. 2015. The role of stripe orientation in target capture success. Frontiers in Zoology. 12: 17.

Covered by: BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, the Independent, the Express, the Mirror, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, BBC CBBC, Sydney Morning Herald, Herald Sun, the Australian, Daily Telegraph Australia Business Standard, the Independent (Ireland), Irish Examiner, ScienceNow, ScienceDaily, BT (all 12 August 2015), and more.

Burriss, R. P., Troscianko, T., Lovell, P. G., Fulford, A. J. C., Stevens, M., Quigley, R., Payne, J., Saxton, T. K. & Rowland, H. M. 2015. Changes in women’s facial skin color over the ovulatory cycle are not detectable by the human visual system. PLoS ONE. 10: e0130093.

Covered by: Live Science, Health Day (30 June 2015), Business Standard (1 July 2015), Huffington Post (2 July 2015), and more.

Caves, E.M., Stevens, M., Iversen, E.S. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2015. Hosts of brood parasites have evolved egg phenotypic signatures with elevated information content. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 282: 20150598.

Arenas, L. M., Walter, D. & Stevens, M. 2015. Signal honesty and predation risk among a closely related group of aposematic species. Scientific Reports. 5: 11021.

Ruxton, G.D. & Stevens, M. 2015. The evolutionary ecology of decorating behaviour. Biology Letters. 11: 20150325.

Covered by: National Geographic (10 June 2015), New Scientist (11 June 2015), IFL Science (15 June 2015).

Stevens, M. 2015. Book Review: Visual Ecology. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology. 48: 221-223.

Kang, C, Stevens, M, Moon, J, Lee, S-I, & Jablonski, P. 2014. Camouflage through behavior in moths: the role of background matching and disruptive coloration. Behavioral Ecology. 26: 45-54.


Stevens, M., Lown, A.E. & Wood, L.E. 2014. Camouflage and individual variation in shore crabs (Carcinus maenas) from different habitats. PLoS ONE. 9: e115586.

Stevens, M., Lown, A.E, & Denton, A.M. 2014. Rockpool gobies change colour for camouflage. PLoS ONE. 9: e110325.

Covered by: National Geographic, Science Daily, IFL Science (15 October 2014), and more.

Hughes, A.E. Troscianko, J. & Stevens, M. 2014. Motion dazzle and the effects of target patterning on capture success. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 14: 201.

Marshall, K.L.A. & Stevens, M. 2014. Wall lizards display conspicuous signals to conspecifics and reduce detection by avian predators. Behavioral Ecology. 25: 1325-1337.

Allen, W. L., Stevens, M. & Higham, J.P. 2014. Character displacement of Cercopithecini primate visual signals. Nature Communications. 5: 4266.

Covered by: BBC, Daily Mail, the Times, the Australian, Wired, Discover Magazine, Huffington Post, LiveScience (26/27 June 2014), and more.

Stevens, M. 2014. Evolution: Predators versus parasites. Current Biology. 24: R388–R390.

Arenas, L. M., Troscianko, J. & Stevens, M. 2014. Color contrast and stability as key elements for effective warning signals. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2: 25.

Stevens, M., Lown, A.E. & Wood, L.E. 2014. Colour change and camouflage in juvenile shore crabs Carcinus maenas. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2: 14.

Winters, A. E., Stevens, M., Mitchell, C., Blomberg, S. P. & Blount, J.D. 2014. Maternal effects and warning signal honesty in eggs and offspring of an aposematic ladybird beetle. Functional Ecology. 28: 1187–1196

Stevens, M. 2014. Confusion and illusion: understanding visual traits and behavior. A comment on Kelley and Kelley. Behavioral Ecology. 25: 464-465.

Stevens, M. & Ruxton, G.D. 2014. Do animal eyespots really mimic eyes? Current Zoology. 60: 26 – 36.


Stevens, M. 2013. Book Review: Concealing Coloration in Animals. By Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2013). Pp. x + 271. Price $29.95. Animal Behaviour. 86: 1333-1334.

Stevens, M. 2013. Bird brood parasitism. Current Biology. 23: R909-R913.

Stevens, M., Troscianko, J. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2013. Repeated targeting of the same hosts by a brood parasite compromises host egg rejection. Nature Communications. 4: 2475.

Covered by: Smithsonian Magazine, Wired, LA Times, Japan Times, Science Daily, International Business Times, Bangkok Post (24 September 2013), BBC, (25 September 2013), io9 (26 September 2013), New York Times (1 October 2013), CBC Radio Quirks and Quarks (2 November), and more.

Troscianko, J., Lown, A.E., Hughes, A.E. & Stevens, M. 2013. Defeating crypsis: detection and learning of camouflage strategies. PLoS ONE. 8: e73733.

Covered by: New Scientist, International Business Times, and Science Daily (10 September 2013).

Stevens, M., Troscianko, J., Marshall, K.L.A., Finlay, S. 2013. What is camouflage through distractive markings? A reply to Merilaita et al. (2013). Behavioral Ecology. 24: e1272-e1273.

Stevens, M. 2013. Exchanging messages between plants and animals. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 28: 386-387.

Stevens, M., Pei Rong, C. & Todd, P.A. 2013. Colour change and camouflage in the horned ghost crab Ocypode ceratophthalmus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 109: 257-270.

Covered by: BBC Nature (5 April 2013), Discovery Canada, Live Science (8 April 2013).

Teasdale, L.C., Stevens, M. & Stuart-Fox, D. 2013. Discrete colour polymorphism in the tawny dragon lizard (Ctenophorus decresii) and differences in signal conspicuousness among morphs. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 26: 1035-1046

Flores, E.E., Stevens, M., Moore, A.J. & Blount, J. D. 2013. Diet, development and the optimization of warning signals in post-metamorphic green and black poison frogs. Functional Ecology. 27: 816-819.

Higham, J.P., Pfefferle, D., Heistermann, M., Maestripieri, D. & Stevens, M. 2013. Signaling in multiple modalities in male rhesus macaques: barks and sex skin coloration in relation to androgen levels, social status and mating behavior. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 67: 1457-1469.

Stevens, M. 2013. Evolutionary Ecology: Knowing How to Hide Your Eggs. Current Biology. 23: R106-108.

Walker, L.K., Stevens, M., Karadas, F., Kilner, R.M. & Ewen, J.G. 2013. A window on the past: male ornamental plumage reveals the quality of their early life environment. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 280: 20122852.

Covered by: Earth Daily, Herald Sun, Science Daily,

Stevens, M., Marshall, K.L.A., Troscianko, J., Finlay, S., Burnand, D. & Chadwick, S.L. 2013. Revealed by conspicuousness: distractive markings reduce camouflage. Behavioral Ecology. 24: 213-222.


Merrill, R.M., Wallbank, R.W.R., Bull, W. Salazar, P. A., Mallet, J., Stevens, M. & Jiggins, C.D. 2012. Disruptive ecological selection on a mating cue. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 279: 4907-4913.

Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. 2012. Host-parasite arms races and rapid changes in bird egg appearance. American Naturalist. 179: 633-648.

Covered by: New Scientist (18 April 2012).

Stevens, M. & Ruxton, G.D. 2012. Linking the evolution and form of warning coloration in nature. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 279: 417-426.

Covered by: Discovery News.


Stevens, M., Searle, W.T.L., Seymour, J.E., Marshall, K.M. & Ruxton, G.D. 2011. Motion dazzle and camouflage as distinct anti-predator defenses. BMC Biology. 9:81.

Tanaka, K.D., Morimoto, G., Stevens, M. & Ueda, K. 2011. Rethinking visual supernormal stimulus: visual modeling of host and parasite signals in hawk cuckoos. Behavioral Ecology. 22: 1012-1019.

Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. 2011. How to evade a coevolving brood parasite: egg discrimination versus egg variability as host defences. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 278: 3566-3573.

Covered by: USA Today (14 April 2011); The Times (14 April 2011); The New York Times (19 April 2011); La Repubblica, Italy (22 April 2011); Volkskrant, Netherlands (22 April 2011); NRC Handelsblad, Netherlands (15 April 2011); BBC Radio Scotland (14 April 2011); BBC Radio Wales (15 April 2011); German Radio WDR 5 (14 April 2011).

Stevens, M. 2011. Avian vision and egg coloration: concepts and measurements. Avian Biology Research. 4: 190-206.

Stoddard, M.C., Marshall, K.L.A. & Kilner, R.M. 2011. Imperfectly camouflaged avian eggs: artefact or adaptation? Avian Biology Research. 4: 196-213.

Higham, J.P., Hughes, K.D., Brent, L.J.N., Dubuc, C., Engelhardt, A., Heistermann, M., Maestriperi, D., Santos, L.R. & Stevens, M. 2011. Familiarity affects the assessment of female facial signals of fertility by free-ranging male rhesus macaques. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 278: 3452-3458.

Covered by: MSNBC (7 April); The New York Times (12 April 2011).

Stoddard, M.C. & Stevens, M. 2011. Avian vision and the evolution of egg color mimicry in the common cuckoo. Evolution. 65: 2004-2013.

Covered by: BBC Earth News (March 2011); BBC Radio 5 Live (24 March 2011); CBC Radio Canada and NPR Radio USA (28 March 2011); Discover (24 March 2011).

Langmore, N.E., Stevens, M., Maurer, G., Heinsohn, R., Hall, M.L., Peters, A., & Kilner, R.M. 2011. Visual mimicry of host nestlings by cuckoos. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 278: 2455-2463.

Lindstedt, C., Eager, H., Ihalainen, E., Kahilainen, A., Stevens, M., & Mappes, J. 2011. Direction and strength of selection by predators for the color of the aposematic wood tiger moth. Behavioral Ecology. 22: 580–587


Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. 2010. Visual modeling shows that avian host parents use multiple visual cues in rejecting parasitic eggs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107: 8672-8676.

Covered by: Covered by: BBC Earth News (April 2010), the Independent (20 October 2013), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio science program (April 2010), Wired (27 April 2010), Wildlife Extra (April 2010), CORDIS (27 April 2010).

Stoddard, M.C. & Stevens, M. 2010. Pattern mimicry of host eggs by the common cuckoo, as seen through a bird’s eye. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 277: 1387–1393.

Covered by: Covered by: The New York Times (June 1 2010); BBC Online, The Big Picture (January 2010).

Higham, J.P., Brent, L.J.N., Dubuc, C., Accamando, A.K., Engelhardt, A., Gerald, M.S., Heistermann, M. & Stevens, M. 2010. Color signal information content and the eye of the beholder: a case study in the rhesus macaque. Behavioral Ecology. 21: 739-746.

Stevens, M. 2010. Sensory ecology, evolution, and behavior. Current Zoology. 56: 1-3.

Sandre, S-L., Stevens, M. & Mappes, J. 2010. The effect of predator appetite, prey warning coloration and luminance on predator foraging decisions. Behaviour. 147: 1121-1143.

Shultziner, D., Stevens, T., Stevens, M., Stewart, B.A., Hannagan, R.J. & Saltini-Semerari, G. 2010. The causes and scope of political egalitarianism during the Last Glacial: a multi-disciplinary perspective. Biology and Philosophy. 25: 319-346.


Stevens, M., Winney, I.S., Cantor, A. & Graham, J. 2009. Object outline and surface disruption in animal camouflage. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 276: 781-786.

Stevens, M., Stoddard, M.C. & Higham, J.P. 2009. Studying primate color: towards visual system dependent methods. International Journal of Primatology. 30: 893–917.

Langmore, N.E., Stevens, M., Maurer, G. & Kilner, R.M. 2009. Are dark cuckoo eggs cryptic in host nests? Animal Behaviour. 78: 461-468.

Stevens, M. & Merilaita, S. 2009. Defining disruptive coloration and distinguishing its functions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B. 364: 481-488.

Stevens, M. & Merilaita, S. 2009. Animal camouflage: current issues and new perspectives. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B. 364: 423-427.

Stevens, M., Cantor, A., Graham, & J. Winney, I.S. 2009. The function of animal ‘eyespots’: conspicuousness but not eye mimicry is key. Current Zoology. 55: 319-326.

Stevens, M., Castor-Perry, S.A. & Price, J.R.F. 2009. The protective value of conspicuous signals is not impaired by shape, size, or position asymmetry. Behavioral Ecology. 20: 96-102.


Stevens, M., Graham, J., Winney, I.S. & Cantor, A. 2008. Testing Thayer’s hypothesis: can camouflage work by distraction? Biology Letters. 4, 648–650.

Stevens, M., Yule, D.H. & Ruxton, G.D. 2008. Dazzle coloration and prey movement. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 275: 2639–2643.

Covered by: The New York Times (August 19th 2008).

Stevens, M., Stubbins, C.L. & Hardman, C.J. 2008. The anti-predator function of ‘eyespots’ on camouflaged and conspicuous prey. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology. 62:1787–1793.

Covered by: Spotted: Nature 453:1146.

Stevens, M., Hardman, C.J., & Stubbins, C.L. 2008. Conspicuousness, not eye mimicry, makes ‘eyespots’ effective anti-predator signals. Behavioral Ecology. 19: 525–531.

Covered by: New Scientist (Issue 2646, Mar 2008), National Geographic News (Feb 2008), The Times newspaper (Feb 2008), The Telegraph Online (Feb 2008), Natural History Magazine (May 2008), RSPB Bird Life (September-October 2009).


Rowland, H.M., Speed, M.P., Ruxton, G.D., Edmunds, M., Stevens, M. & Harvey, I.F. 2007. Countershading enhances cryptic protection: an experiment with wild birds and artificial prey. Animal Behaviour. 74: 1249-1258.

Stevens, M., Hopkins, E., Hinde, W., Adcock, A., Connelly, Y., Troscianko, T. & Cuthill, I.C. 2007. Field experiments on the effectiveness of ‘eyespots’ as predator deterrents. Animal Behaviour. 74: 1215-1227.

Houston, A.I., Stevens, M. & Cuthill, I.C. 2007. Animal camouflage: compromise or specialise in a two patch-type environment? Behavioral Ecology. 18: 769-775.

Stevens, M. & Cuthill, I.C. 2007. Hidden messages: are ultraviolet signals a special channel in avian communication? BioScience. 57: 501-507.

Stevens, M. 2007. Predator perception and the interrelation between different forms of protective coloration. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 274: 1457-1464.

Stevens, M., Párraga, C. A., Cuthill, I.C., Partridge, J.C. & Troscianko, T. 2007. Using digital photography to study animal coloration. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 90: 211-237.


Stevens, M., Cuthill, I.C., Windsor, A.M.M. & Walker, H.J. 2006. Disruptive contrast in animal camouflage. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 273: 2433-2438.

Covered by: Endler, J. A. 2006. Disruptive and cryptic coloration. Proc. R. Soc. B 273, 2425-2426.

Cuthill, I.C., Stevens, M., Windsor, A.M.M. & Walker, H.J. 2006. The effects of pattern symmetry on detection of disruptive and background matching coloration. Behavioral Ecology. 17: 828-832.

Stevens, M. & Cuthill, I.C. 2006. Disruptive coloration, crypsis and edge detection in early visual processing. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 273: 2141-2147.


Stevens, M. 2005. The role of eyespots as anti-predator mechanisms, principally demonstrated in the Lepidoptera. Biological Reviews. 80: 573-588.

Cuthill, I.C., Stevens, M., Sheppard, J, Maddocks, T, Párraga, C. A. & Troscianko, T. 2005. Disruptive coloration and background pattern matching. Nature. 434: 72-74.

Covered by: Sherratt, T.N., Rashed, A. & Beatty, C.D. 2005. Hiding in plain sight. TREE 20, 414-416; Science Online.

Stevens, M. & Cuthill, I.C. 2005. The unsuitability of html-based colour charts for estimating animal colours – a comment on Berggren and Merilä (2004). Frontiers in Zoology. 2(1-14).


Franks, N.R., Dornhaus, A., Fitzsimmons, J.P. & Stevens, M. 2003. Speed versus accuracy in collective decision making. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 1532: 2457-2463.

Covered by: Editor’s Choice: Taking a quick vote under pressure. Science 302, 537

Book Chapters

Stevens, M., Arenas, L. M., & Lown, A. E. 2015. Colour in camouflage, mimicry, and warning signalling. In: Handbook of Colour Psychology. Edited by A. J. Elliot and M. D. Fairchild. Cambridge University Press. pp 357-376.

Stevens, M. & Merilaita, S. 2011. Chapter 1: Animal Camouflage: An Introduction. In: Animal Camouflage: Mechanisms & Function. Cambridge University Press. pp 1-16.

Merilaita, S. & Stevens, M. 2011. Chapter 2: Crypsis through background matching. In: Animal Camouflage: Mechanisms & Function. Cambridge University Press. pp 17-33.

Mappes, J. & Stevens, M. 2010. Chapter 9: Information use and sensory ecology. pp 148-161. In: Evolutionary Behavioral Ecology. Edited by C. Fox & D. Westneat. Oxford University Press.

Caro, T., Merilaita, S., & Stevens, M. 2008. The Colours of Animals: from Wallace to the Present Day. I. Cryptic Colouration. pp 125-143. In: Natural Selection and Beyond: The Intellectual Legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace. Edited by Charles H. Smith and George W. Beccaloni. Oxford University Press.

Stevens, M., Cuthill, I.C., Párraga, C. A. & Troscianko, T. 2007. The effectiveness of disruptive coloration as a concealment strategy. In: Progress in Brain Research. Edited by J.-M. Alonso, S. Macknik, L. Martinez, P. Tse & S. Martinez-Conde). Elsevier. 155:49-65.